The Connecticut Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office (ConnDOT) has announced the kickoff of the state’s participation in the national “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” campaign. The 2014 National Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign is being sponsored by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and involves heavy media and public outreach, coupled with stringent anti-texting enforcement, to help get the word out about the dangers of driving and texting.
In Connecticut, it is against the law for a driver of any age to use a handheld mobile phone while driving. A driver can only use their phone if they have the device on speakerphone, using a Bluetooth wireless device, headset or using an installed hands-free car kit. Texting while driving is completely prohibited.
Drivers who ignore the law face a fine of $150 if it is their first offense. Drivers who are caught a second time can be fined $300, with each subsequent offense costing $500 per offense.
Connecticut was the only state to receive funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) federal Distracted Driving grant program. Part of the $2.3 million in grant money will be used by law enforcement patrols to crackdown on those motorists who insist on disobeying the law.
Funds will also be used for education and advertising aimed at reminding drivers how dangerous mobile phone use can be when behind the wheel. Plans include additional “Save a Life Tour,” a distracted driving program which will be presented at 30 different high schools throughout the state.
According to national statistics, there were over 3,330 people killed and more than 420,000 people injured in accidents that were caused by a distracted driver. A driver who is traveling at 55 miles per hour, who takes their eyes off the road for only five seconds, actually drives the length of a football field, without looking at the road, in those five seconds.
If you have been injured in a vehicle accident caused by the negligence of another driver, contact an experienced Hartford personal injury attorney to find out what legal compensation you may be entitled to for pain and loss.